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Yesterday an interesting thing happened, where disenfranchised folks walked right up into the US capitol after Donald Trump told them to do so. They weren’t welcome there, and a few people ended up dead in the scuffles, and a lot of people were mad for a variety of reasons.
There were a few really interesting things that happened in the aftermath which I felt like writing about. Or rather, there were things that didn’t happen. Things people weren’t saying spoke more about the problem than what they were saying.
I was watching the politicians give their self congratulatory speeches live on C-SPAN after the whole thing was resolved, and I couldn’t help but notice how absurd the whole thing seemed.
Failure to acknowledge systemic failure #
I think the most important theme from yesterday was the complete rejection of the idea that the US government itself is a failure. It’s easy to blame Trump or whotever, but none of the politicians are willing to acknowledge the (obvious to me) fact that the US is a failed state.
When you have more than 70 million people voting to elect someone who is clearly unfit to be in charge of a nuclear arsenal, I think it’s evidence that the system doesn’t work.
Trump is a symptom, not the cause.
Labelling them as “a mob”, “rioters”, “terrorists”, etc #
I get that what they did wasn’t right, but in a way I am sympathetic. Politicians have long enjoyed zero repurcussions (including Trump), and it’s about time they get a reminder of who they actually work for. Hint: it’s not themselves.
There are so many massive problems in the US, and it affects the entire world. Why does the US get a free pass? Why are politicians never held accountable?
Zero talk of political reform #
My opinion is that the US constitution is dated, ineffective, and needs intensive reform. It’s a document that was crafted more than 200 years ago, in a very different time, and one which still has glaring problems. All the politicians and so-called “patriots” love to shout to the rooftops about how great the constitution is, but all I see is an insanely convoluted, complex, and undemocratic system that doesn’t work anymore.
The US constitution hasn’t been meaningfully reformed since 1971, when the last real constitutional amendment was proposed. A functioning government should be updating itself with the latest firmware as needed, and it is damn needed right now.
Here are some ideas of what should happen very quickly to fix the government:
- eliminate the electoral college and the whole circus surrounding it
- standardize voting practices
- ban gerrymandering
- switch to ranked-choice voting
- implement proportional representation
- curb presidential powers–or better yet, eliminate the position outright
- increase the total number of politicians in the government to provide better representation of diverse groups
- introduce direct democracy reforms to allow people to vote directly on large issues
- hold politicians accountable to their constituents by measuring their voting in government to how their constituents vote on issues
Hurtling toward our own demise #
I’m mostly of the belief these days that it’s too late. We’re staring down the barrel of an extinction event (climate change) and we’re choosing to do nothing about it. Most people have decided to bury their heads in the sand, ignore what’s happening around them, and keep going about their day engaging in capitalism and consumerism.
Fewer speeches, less bullshit, more action #
Watching the politicians talk about how great they are was exhausting, and I couldn’t help but notice all the other politicians in the background who weren’t even listening to each other. They were all just sitting there playing on their phones, scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, fidgeting with their pens and paper. None of them actually listen to each other: they’re just there to get their 5 minutes of fame and get out. They don’t actually care about “working together” or any of those other vapid tropes.
The best thing we can do, to avoid complete collapse, is to limit the amount of influence any one politician has on the 300+ million people living in the USA.
Thanks for reading #
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